Schoolgirl, 6, saves mum’s life during severe asthma attack
A six-year-old girl has saved her mum’s life by dialling 999 when she suffered a severe asthma attack that could have been fatal.
Cali-Maii Ball, from Hornchurch in east London, woke up in the middle of the night to sounds of mum Lauren desperately gasping for air.
She immediately picked up her mum’s phone and raised the alarm by calling 999.
“I think my mum is having an asthma attack”, she told London Ambulance Service call handler Laura Lehmer.
“Mummy is really struggling to breathe.”
When someone suffers an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten up. The airways become irritated and swollen producing a fluid called mucus, which makes it difficult for that person to breathe.
Realising mum Lauren was very unwell, Cali-Maii promptly gave the 999 call handler her exact address and unlocked the door to let the crews in.
London Ambulance Service medics arrived in just four minutes and immediately started treating Lauren, 25, who was losing consciousness.
Paramedics William Grove, Daniella Robinson, Sam Taylor and Laura Canty started life support to help her breathe. They then took her to Queen’s Hospital on blue lights, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and put on a ventilator.
Lauren said: “Cali saved my life. If it wasn’t for her calling 999 so quickly and the paramedics intervening so promptly, this would have been a really different story.
“I’ll never be able to show them all how grateful I am for saving me.”
After the incident, Lauren remained in hospital for six days. To reduce the risk of similar episodes, she is now due to start a new injection treatment.
This week, Cali-Maii was reunited with London Ambulance Service crews Sam Taylor and Danielle Robinson, who answered her cry for help.
In an emotional reunion with the family, they handed Cali-Maii an award recognising her heroic efforts.
Sam said: “Cali-Maii is a real hero. A few extra minutes could have cost her mother her life.
“Lauren was very close to going into cardiac arrest and it was Cali’s incredibly quick cry for help that saved her.”
The mother-of-two, who was diagnosed with asthma at the age of six, has called for parents across the country to teach their children what to do in an emergency.
She said: “Cali’s actions were life changing and if our story can help even one more parent get the help they need in a life-threatening situation, I’d be over the moon.”
Teaching children when to call 999, learn their home address, and how to unlock the front door when the ambulance arrives can help save lives.
For further information about dealing with asthma attacks visit www.asthmaandlunch.org.uk